LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - European index futures were lower ahead of the equity market open on Monday, with political uncertainty in Greece firmly in the spotlight ahead of elections later this month, as German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the German government wanted Greece to stay in the euro zone.
The Jan. 25 election in Greece could vault the left-wing Syriza party into power, raising the risk of a sovereign default and severe losses for the European Central Bank on any Greek bonds it holds.
Asian shares were also subdued as soft manufacturing surveys soured the mood. The euro hit a nine-year low versus the dollar, with investors stepping up bets the European Central Bank would unveil long-awaited extra stimulus measures in a bid to boost the economy and quash fears of a deflationary spiral.
Euro STOXX 50 and French CAC 40 futures were down 0.9 percent, while German DAX futures were down 0.6 percent.
“European equities are set to dip on the open as Eurozone jitters get markets wobbling again,” said Jonathan Sudaria, dealer at trading firm London Capital Group. “It’s the nightmare scenario where contagion effects reach Italy, Spain and Portugal that should be worrying traders.”
European stocks had already kicked off the new year in slightly negative territory on Friday, on the back of subdued euro-zone manufacturing, though the losses were mitigated by growing expectations of new measures from the ECB to boost the euro-zone economy.
ALLIANZ Allianz subsidiary Pimco said its Total Return Fund had outflows of $19.4 billion in December, up from $9.5 billion withdrawn in November, leaving assets at less than half their 2013 peak level after 20 months of withdrawals.
DEUTSCHE BANK The lender has seen continued inflows into its German Wealth Management division, growing by 12 percent a year since 2009. This growth rate will likely accelerate, Joachim Haeger, head of Wealth Management Germany, told Euro am Sonntag.
TESCO British supermarket chain Tesco will on Thursday announce drastic changes to supplier contracts and job cuts to help rebuild its reputation after an accounting scandal and four profit warnings last year, the Sunday Times reported.
FDA approves Bayer’s gadavist (gadobutrol) injection as first magnetic resonance contrast agent for pediatric patients less than 2 years of age, Bayer said.
German premium carmaker BMW agreed to pay 5.1 billion yuan ($820 million) worth of subsidies to its dealers in China to help cover their losses accrued last year, the country’s main car dealer association said on Monday.
DEUTSCHE BOERSE The Frankfurt-based exchange operator said order book turnover on Xetra, Tradegate and Boerse Frankfurt rose 28 percent in 2014 to 108.9 billion euros, while trading volume at Eurex Group fell to 2.1 billion euros, from 2.2 billion euros in 2013.
Glencore Plc on Monday said it was restarting coal mining operations in Australia, following a three-week suspension aimed at combating a global supply glut made worse by protectionist trade measures introduced in China.
HENKEL The company wants to further expand in the area of consumer branded goods and hair care and could consider a large acquisition, its chairwoman told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
SIEMENS German engineering and industrial giant Siemens SIEGn.DE wants to achieve annual savings worth 100 million euros ($120 million) from 2016 onwards by overhauling its corporate travel policy, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said, without citing sources.
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA, CARIGE The ECB is expected to give its final approval to the two lenders’ capital boosting plans at a meeting on Feb. 4, Il Sole 24 Ore said on Saturday in an unsourced report.
The government is working on reforms in the banking sector that could facilitate a potential tie-up between Monte Paschi and UBI Banca and between Banca Carige and Banca Popolare di Milano, the paper added.
The eyeware company will benefit from a weaker euro/dollar exchange rate in its financial results for forth quarter, the company was quoted as saying by daily La Stampa on Monday.
The airline said December traffic grew 20 pct.
The French resort operator is expected to back an offer from a consortium led by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang this week after Italian rival bidder Andrea Bonomi declined to raise his offer on Friday.
CAMPARI Pernod Ricard plans to invest in Italy to become the second biggest player in the country after Campari, Chief Executive-designate Alexander Ricard told Il Sole 24 Ore in an interview published on Sunday.
Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ > GLOBAL MARKETS-EURO SLIDES TO 9-YEAR LOW, ASIA SHARES SUBDUED > NIKKEI HITS 2-1/2 WEEK LOW AS EUROZONE FUELS GLOBAL GROWTH WORRIES > BOND YIELDS FALL AS MANUFACTURING DATA DISAPPOINTS, OIL DROPS > EURO FALLS TO 9-YR LOW VS DOLLAR AS BETS MOUNT ON FURTHER WEAKNESS > GOLD CLIMBS ON CHINESE BUYING BUT DOLLAR KEEPS GAINS IN CHECK > COPPER HOLDS NEAR 4-1/2-YEAR LOW, STIMULUS HOPES UNDERPIN PRICES > OIL PRICES HIT FRESH 5-1/2-YEAR LOWS; BRENT BELOW $56
Reporting by Lionel Laurent